A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between Airbus and ITA Airways on the development of zero-emission urban aviation in Italy. The two companies will work together to develop an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) service and will work with local partners to launch these modes of transport safely and sustainably in the country. This would be done using CityAirbus’ NextGen electrically powered vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, currently under development by a European manufacturer.
Airbus and ITA Airways would build social acceptance of urban aviation through pilot projects to demonstrate the added value of UAM services to local communities.
The new generation CityAirbus will be electrically powered and therefore zero-emission, carrying four passengers up to a maximum distance of 80 kilometres at a cruising speed of 120 kilometres per hour. The fixed-wing aircraft will have a V-shaped control surface and eight propellers, and will be able to switch between vertical take-off and landing and horizontal flight modes without moving or tilting the wing surfaces.
The new generation of CityAirbus is designed to have an external noise level below 65 decibels in flight and 70 decibels during landing, and to meet the most stringent regulatory certification requirements (EASA SC-VTOL Enhanced Category). The first flight of the CityAirbus NextGen prototype is scheduled for 2023, with the regulatory approvals for entry into service expected around 2025.